By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it being dead yet speaketh Hebrew 11: 4;
Not all offerings are acceptable unto the LORD. Our God has a choice whether or not to accept that which we offer to Him as offering or sacrifice. He is not obliged to receive anything from anyone, especially when such offering is offered on wrong premises.
The testimony of Abel was that he offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice, as a result of which he earned himself great reward of eternal blessings and rest with God. With the testimony of Abel in mind, we must be keenly interested in discovering what made his sacrifice a more excellent sacrifice than that of Cain so as to guide us in offering acceptable offerings to the Lord.
Genesis 4:4; reveals to us the kind of offering Abel brought to God: ĎAnd Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel, and his offeringí.
Firstly, the scripture reveals that Abel gave unto the Lord the FIRSTBORN of his flock. He gave the first fruits unto the Lord because God occupied the first and the only place in his heart. He placed the Lord first in all things. There were probably several other needs to be met, but Abel would not deny God the firstlings of his flocks. His deep love for God made him place God first so he consecrated the first born of his flock to the Lord.
Secondly, Abel brought the FAT PORTIONS of his flock. His offering to God was the choicest and the fattest portions of his flock. He did not offer just anything to God. He held God in very high esteem and therefore offered nothing less than the best of all that he had. God Almighty will never accept the lame, the sick, the blind, the torn, the feeble, the thin, the awkward and the worthless portions from the flock from anyone. Who deserves our best if not The Almighty God Ėthe giver of life and all good things? It is shameful when people bring leftovers to God as offering. God is not a beggar and should never be treated as one.
Thirdly, the sacrifice of Abel was accepted by the Lord because Abel himself was found acceptable in His sight. If the life of Abel was not pleasing unto God, his offering, no matter how fat or bountiful, would be rejected altogether. The Lord does not have delight in fat of rams and goats but he that is of a contrite spirit shall be regarded by Him. So many people assume that they can lure God with fat gifts, tithes and offering when they themselves are not willing to yield their lives unto Him in holiness and uprightness of heart. It is vain to try to please God with bountiful offerings when our lives are riddled with compromise and unrighteousness. God more than anything else wants our hearts to be yielded to Him as living sacrifice after which our offering will become truly acceptable to Him. It is the altar [pure heart] that sanctifies the offerings and not the other way round!
In addition, the scripture reveals that God had respect unto Abelís offering. God had respect unto Abelís offering because Abel also had respect for the Lord by putting Him first in all things. Besides, Abel offering was mixed with great faith. His faith in the unseen God was the foundation of his offering. Anything done outside of faith is unacceptable to God-For without faith it is impossible to please God. Abelís faith in God made God to be real to him. If Godís works are not real in our lives it may be that we lack faith in Him.
Finally the offering of Abel contained blood. The earth and its fruits were under curse because of the sin of Adam and Eve. God still raging in anger and fury, needed to be appeased. Appeasement would never come without shedding of blood. Abelís offering being offered with blood was a shadow of the true sacrifice that Christ would offer with His own blood thousands of years later for atonement of manís sin. This clearly shows that no man, no matter how good, can be accepted by God without the blood of atonement offered by Christ on the cross. The offering of Abel was significant since it pointed out this truth even from the very beginning.
If we learn to offer a more excellent offering to the Lord as did Abel, we would not only operate in the realm of great abundance, we will equally earn ourselves eternal reward. It may be that our harvests are not forth coming because our offerings are given with flaws. However, today can mark a new beginning if we make up our mind to offer God a more excellent sacrifice.